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  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by powderhound100 View Post
    do a lot of ski patrollers carry beacons? If there is a slide at a resort, do they make a probe line, and have a guy or two searching with a beacon, or is a beacon not always used?
    Many patrollers wear beacons. Some areas even require their use.

  2. #27
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    thanks. good to know.

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by powderhound100 View Post
    thanks. good to know.
    At the 2 resorts that I worked at wearing your beacon was mandatory. I don't think there is any resort with Avalanche terrain that doesn't make it mandatory for their patrol to wear a beacon. Standard procedure for any avalanche is to immediately search with a beacon. The first patroller on scene should immediately do a beacon search. Then when enough people are on scene than they will do a probe line. Also it is important to look for clues like equipment. If any clues are found there is a good chance that the person buried might be in the vicinity.
    The pacifists always lose, because the anti-pacifists kill them.

  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bozo T. Clown View Post
    Sorry, that's entirely wrong. The signals are radio waves, at frequencies that pass through feet of snow. The additional attenuation from a few inches of clothing is minuscule. The photons don't know if they've been generated by a battery in your pocket, or have been reflected. The frequencies are around those of cell phones; the Recco transmitted signal is at 917 MHz, and the reflected signal is frequency doubled to 1834 MHz. The signal will pass right through clothing. If you were wearing aluminum foil, e.g. on your helmet to protect against mind control rays, or had the chip behind keys in a pocket, that would be an issue.
    Look, I don't want to get in a pissing match, because this is exactly why I have avoided posting here for a long time.

    Go to www.recco.com/system/reflectors_info.asp and read the info. Then, speak to the RECCO reps, patrollers, or SAR folks who have used the system. In my practice, small amounts of interference made significant differences. In some cases it may not matter. But anyone interested in RECCO must understand these principles to optimize chances of a successful recovery.

    From www.recco.com: "Similar to a thin, printed circuit card and surrounded by protective weatherproof plastic, it is factory mounted to the exterior of gear that is unlikely to be torn off in the event of an avalanche."

    Peace

  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by powderdave View Post
    Look, I don't want to get in a pissing match, because this is exactly why I have avoided posting here for a long time.
    I know, you just disappeared after 79 posts. I was like, where is that dude powderdave.
    .....Visit my website. .....

    "a yin without a yang"

  6. #31
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    The one thing that gets me about RECCO, is there is no way to turn it off. If I witness an Avy and start a beacon search and then patrol shows up with the RECCO finder....if I have RECCO on my jacket, I have to top my search so they don't pick up my signal right?

    I am guessing that patrollers are not suppose to have RECCO transmitters on their person because it will interfere right?

    I am going to purposely avoid buying anything with a RECCO tag for now and just always wear my beacon....seems easier to me.

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyber Cop View Post
    I know, you just disappeared after 79 posts. I was like, where is that dude powderdave.
    Failing high school physics?

    I'll try a visual analogy, and maybe a little of how radio works will sink in. The 457 kHz radio waves used in beacons, 917 and 1834 mHz radio waves used in the Recco system, and light waves are all part of the electromagnetic spectrum, so the physics is exactly the same.

    Itís an open field, on a dark, moonless night. The person being searched for is dressed all in black, a Ninja, Johnny Cash, a woman in a chador, something like that. And is standing behind a wall of glass bricks; thatís the snow. But over his Ninja outfit heís wearing a transparent Mylar jacket. And in one pocket of the jacket he has a small red tinted flashlight, powered by two AAA batteries; thatís the avalanche beacon. The light from the flashlight goes through his transparent jacket, through the wall of glass bricks, and the searchers see the red light. In another pocket of the jacket he has a mirror; thatís the Recco reflector. The searchers have a powerful blue tinted flashlight. They scan the blue light across the field, itís reflected by the mirror, and they see the blue light.

    The flashlight is active, it emits red light. The mirror is passive, it reflects blue light. Both frequencies of light pass through the Mylar jacket, and the glass bricks. Behind the Ninja outfit, the light would be blocked instead of transmitted. If he has coins in his pockets, the signals will be reflected and scattered. If other people are standing around holding up cigarette lighters, that would interfere.

    P.S. Besides being nonsensical, itís irresponsible for you to try and tell people that cloth is going to block the Recco signal.
    Last edited by Bozo T. Clown; 01-02-2009 at 03:34 PM.

  8. #33
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    Are they trying to melt glass bricks with a lighter?

    damn, that could take a while. Even for a ninja.
    Something about the wrinkle in your forehead tells me there's a fit about to get thrown
    And I never hear a single word you say when you tell me not to have my fun
    It's the same old shit that I ain't gonna take off anyone.
    and I never had a shortage of people tryin' to warn me about the dangers I pose to myself.

    Patterson Hood of the DBT's

  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bozo T. Clown View Post
    Failing high school physics?

    Behind the Ninja outfit, the light would be blocked instead of transmitted. If he has coins in his pockets, the signals will be reflected and scattered. If other people are standing around holding up cigarette lighters, that would interfere.
    Yeah....there is no way I am going to wear my beacon on the outside of my ninja suit....that is BS...and how am I suppose to stay warm under the snow without my bic lighter running?

  10. #35
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    i'm pretty sure RECCO has had one documented avalanche save. ever.

    so yeah, should be fine for your family.
    Quote Originally Posted by Divebomber View Post
    OR sign it with a fake sig, then later they say "we have your sig!" NO you dont!

  11. #36
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    Is the whole wearing beacons inbounds a bit overdone this year you think?? Statistically you are still more likely to get hit by lightning. I don't know.

  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperAids View Post
    Is the whole wearing beacons inbounds a bit overdone this year you think?? Statistically you are still more likely to get hit by lightning. I don't know.
    If you have one...why not wear it? Carrying a shovel and a probe are a little bit more of a pain in the ass....but if you have a beacon and at least a pair of those BD poles that screw together you can start a search if you come upon a slide.....hopefully ski patrol won't be too far behind with shovels.

  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by powderdave View Post
    Look, I don't want to get in a pissing match, because this is exactly why I have avoided posting here for a long time.

    Go to www.recco.com/system/reflectors_info.asp and read the info. Then, speak to the RECCO reps, patrollers, or SAR folks who have used the system. In my practice, small amounts of interference made significant differences. In some cases it may not matter. But anyone interested in RECCO must understand these principles to optimize chances of a successful recovery.

    From www.recco.com: "Similar to a thin, printed circuit card and surrounded by protective weatherproof plastic, it is factory mounted to the exterior of gear that is unlikely to be torn off in the event of an avalanche."

    Peace

    You may be right but I thought I'll just add my $.02 to this discussion. I just bought a new Sessions jacket with Recco and the reflector appears to be sewn in between the outer and inner layer as opposed to being sewn onto the outer layer. I'm not sure why Sessions decided to change way the reflector is attached (my wife has an older Session jacket with the reflector on the outside), but hopefully they did some research and found that the placement of the reflector inside the jacket does not diminish the effectiveness of the reflector.

  14. #39
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    Time...

    Beacons allow for self rescue of by unburied skiers in a group. Chances are if you don't get saved in the first 15 mins you wont make it anyways.

    Swiss Avalanche Research Center at Davos...

    Survival Phase
    In the first 15 minutes 93% of avalanche victims are still alive, indeed most of the deaths occur during the fall either by hitting rocks or trees or being carried over cliffs or by being crushed or suffocated by the weight of snow. Wet snow avalanches, characteristic of spring, are most likely to suffocate or crush skiers during this phase but it is less common for skiers to be caught these.

    Asphyxiation Phase
    In this half hour period, two thirds of victims will die from asphyxiation. Apart from wet snow avalanches the snow encasing victims contains a significant amount of oxygen and is permeable. If a victim has protected or can clear airways and can breath (that is the weight of snow is not compressing the lungs or thorax) they can usually breath. During this period the surrounding air will either be exhausted or the victims respiration will condense and freeze slowly rendering the surrounding snow impermeable.

    Waiting Phase
    Between 45 minutes and rescue the victim will probably have found an air pocket and is in a phase of relative security which will allow them to survive for a considerable period. Death is either from slow asphyxia or hypothermia. With an adequate air supply hypothermia is slowed down.

    Rescue Phase
    Between being rescued and arrival and recovering in hospital the risk of hypothermia is great. Hypothermia begins when the body temperature drops below 35 C (body temperature is around 37C) and it is extremely rare for a victim to survive once their body temperature drops to 29C. The survival phase is critical, when the body is cooled it will divert blood from the extremities to the vital organs, when the body is warmed blood will return to the extremities but at too low a temperature this will cool the vital organs causing death by thermal shock.

    In an off-piste accident in the Sept Laux ski station on the 27/01/2001 two victims were rescued during this period by the emergency services but succumbed later in Grenoble hospital.

    Conclusion
    The basic message is that to survive an avalanche you have to be rescued within 15 minutes, with half an hour to wait before the rescue services arrive on the scene this comes down to your friends. Your life depends on carrying and being proficient in the use of avalanche transceivers and having snow probes and shovels. In ideal conditions it will take around 5 minutes to locate a victim with a transceiver and 10 to 15 minutes to dig them out from the average depth of burial which is 1 meter.

    However these figures shouldn't create a false sense of security. In an exercise the author performed with the large Davos rescue services it took 45 minutes to locate and find 5 victims in an avalanche site using transceivers, dogs and probes.

  15. #40
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    Last week there was an inbounds slide at a utah ski area. The recco was on the scene in literally under a minute. Response times arent always that quick obviously but for a product that costs $20 why wouldnt you wear one?.. as well as considering the money for a beacon.

  16. #41
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    One thing for the OP to consider is Recco readily available on the hills you ski. I can only speak for Mammoth, but last year they had two Recco units, and one was always at the top gondi station. In the one slide I was involved with, it was on scene in about 10-15 minutes. If you are way out on the Dragon's Tail Recco is not going to get there in a reasonable time. As they add uints response time will improve. For twenty bucks, or buying a jacket and pants with it, it is silly not to for anybody that skis deep pow after a storm.

    There is no doubt beacons are better, for rescue from friends, and a quicker patrol response. If the OP and family are skiing big slopes on powder days I would get beacons if at all possible. Recco is a good back up.

    As to wearing Recco and being involved in a search, it was not a problem when I was involved in a Mammoth slide. The 'troller simply asked if anybody was wearing Recco, and I said yes, but three beacon searches and the Recco search where done by this time, and the dog soon followed.

    As for wearing two Recco reflectors, it is recommended to wear one on you jacket and one low on your pants. The reason is the Recco signal is attenuated by water moderately fast. If a person is buried upside down with the reflector on the jacket shoulder, and it ends up under the victim, the Recco unit has a harder time picking up if. If the same person also has on on their pant leg it will be higher and easier to pick up. (This is from the a Mammoth 'troller and the local Recco rep.)

    If you always wear a beacon, then removing the Recco tabs is a reasonably good idea. I believe all the Mammoth 'trollers have to remove any Recco they might have.

    As for getting caught in an in bounds slide being the same as getting hit by lightening, or a car crash, you can't compare the skiing population in general to us idiots who ski the big runs on the big powder days. There are several maggots here who have been caught, or nearly so, me being one of them. I don't know about anybody else, but i have never been close to getting hit by lightening. But then again, I don't play golf in the mid-west during thunder storms.

    And, by the way, there was another in bounds slide that caught a skier the same day the 'troller I report on in another thread. He got taken for an 800' slide through small trees, was partially buried, but came out with out an injury (and I'll bet no stool in his colon.)

    I agree it is a constitutional right for Americans to be assholes...its just too bad that so many take the opportunity...
    iscariot

  17. #42
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    Beacons are in my opinion the better bet, goods if your skiing with some one else who has it then most likely they can save right then and all resorts have patrols with them; bads expensive, you might now always ski with some one so response time can be delayed.
    For Recco its cheap and easy for you to have and if they have the device its an easy find, but the problem is not all the resorts have the device due to the fact that to this day the device cost around 300k so if you have recco but they don't have the device your screwed. Saying that most of the top resorts have them (Snowbird, JH, Vail you know the ones I am talking about

  18. #43
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    Recco has donated a bunch of units, I think a hill only needs to ask. At least it was that way for awhile. The reflectors are sold to clothing companies for nearly the cost to make. Recco is a quasi-non-profit. The guy who developed lost a friend in an avi, and he already rich, so the company is run on minimal margins.

    I agree it is a constitutional right for Americans to be assholes...its just too bad that so many take the opportunity...
    iscariot

  19. #44
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    Nothing wrong with RECCO, but it's just not the same. Not even close. Apples and oranges IMO, and directly comparing them is pretty much laughable. There are just WAY too many possible variables to even begin that kind of discussion.

  20. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by hutash View Post
    If you always wear a beacon, then removing the Recco tabs is a reasonably good idea. I believe all the Mammoth 'trollers have to remove any Recco they might have.
    Why should you remove the recco? does it interfere with the beacon at all? or what if you wear a beacon the majority of the time? Would it not be good idea to have both recco and beacon, just in case something stupid happens, for example the battery dies or something?


    Quote Originally Posted by Uncrck2 View Post
    Saying that most of the top resorts have them (Snowbird, JH, Vail you know the ones I am talking about
    resorts in north america
    http://www.recco.com/resorts/north_america.asp

  21. #46
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    I asked at the Whistler Patrol shack. There all the pro patrollers wear a beacon and its the second thing they check at an avy site (visual inspection is first). At the Little Whistler slide yesterday they had 2 dogs and a new Recco unit going quick (but it's a short sled ride from the shack).


    Recco tags are just RF reflectors so removing them is dumb unless you're a Ninja.
    If you have a problem & think that someone else is going to solve it for you then you have two problems.

  22. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by powderhound100 View Post
    Why should you remove the recco? does it interfere with the beacon at all? or what if you wear a beacon the majority of the time? Would it not be good idea to have both recco and beacon, just in case something stupid happens, for example the battery dies or something?
    You shouldn't. It doesn't interfere with avi transceivers. The idea behind patrollers removing reccos is so the detector is only reading a signal from the victim's reflector and not a rescuer's.

  23. #48
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    Thanks to all of you for the info and insight. I appreciate all of it even the ninja fortress of solitude metaphor.

    I have to say ignorance has been bliss. I had never worried about inbounds slides. Last year when Liberty Bowl (Big Sky) slid, knowing that I had just skied it a week earlier, got my attention and all the inbounds slides this year at mountains I have been to or are going to really have my attention.

    I am chasing my kids down steeper and bigger runs every day that we are out. Yesterday at Red Lodge we skied every double that was open and as we passed a gate (inbounds) that warned of Avalanche Terrain the posts in this thread were knocking.

    Pic's from last spring:

    Just off the Headwaters lift at Moonlight waiting for Dad


    Pissed I made them stop for a pic on Cold Springs


    First Lap on Headwaters Bowl


    Either Headwaters Bowl or Alder Gulch


    The fact is we have put a lot of effort into the kids skiing and are very proud of them. Them, continuing to challenge themselves is inevitable (Slushman's and the Big are coming faster than I anticipated). It would be unwise for me not to invest in beacons, the training for all of us to use them effectively and hopefully never have to.

    Thanks again for sharing your wisdom, I will look into a group buy.

  24. #49
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    Just one more thing to consider...How much longer before they start leaving the resort boundaries? I suspect they will need beacons soon enough since they sound like real rippers. Might as well get them now.

    If my kids or wife were skiing the terrain I ski, they would have beacons. (unfortunately they rarely get of the groomers, or stay inside on storm days, but I am working on it.)

    I agree it is a constitutional right for Americans to be assholes...its just too bad that so many take the opportunity...
    iscariot

  25. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtsprings View Post

    I am chasing my kids down steeper and bigger runs every day that we are out. Yesterday at Red Lodge we skied every double that was open and as we passed a gate (inbounds) that warned of Avalanche Terrain the posts in this thread were knocking.


    The fact is we have put a lot of effort into the kids skiing and are very proud of them. Them, continuing to challenge themselves is inevitable (Slushman's and the Big are coming faster than I anticipated). It would be unwise for me not to invest in beacons, the training for all of us to use them effectively and hopefully never have to.
    Quote Originally Posted by hutash View Post
    Just one more thing to consider...How much longer before they start leaving the resort boundaries? I suspect they will need beacons soon enough since they sound like real rippers. Might as well get them now.

    That is the epiphany I had skiing with them last Friday and again today. Before long they are going to have to have them.


    I talked to ptex1 today about getting some beacons. He is going to look into it and said he would help me organize a group buy. I will keep everyone posted.

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